Nodal body needed to hasten shift to EV
The forecast for India in the electric vehicles (EV) sector appears encouraging to cut down air pollution significantly. But a lot more needs to be done.
Published: 16th November 2022 12:31 AM | Last Updated: 16th November 2022 12:31 AM | A+A A-
The forecast for India in the electric vehicles (EV) sector appears encouraging to cut down air pollution significantly. But a lot more needs to be done. At present, the air pollution levels in India are far from safe. The finger of blame points to the transport sector. According to various studies, India’s transport sector contributes about 25% of the total emissions, with road transport contributing three-quarters of the transport emissions. This amounts to 15% of the carbon dioxide emissions. Passenger vehicles are the biggest villains, accounting for 45% of CO2 emissions. This projects a scarier scenario by 2050 when greenhouse gas (GHG) emission is expected to be 90% higher than that in 2020.
Studies have revealed that vehicular emission in India contributes up to 30% of particulate matter with a diameter smaller than 2.5 microns (or PM2.5)—which is considered very harmful for respiratory functions as these remain suspended in the air for long periods and are easily deposited in the lungs. It is estimated that vehicles in India annually spew a total of 29 crore kg of PM2.5 into the air. The concerns have not gone unnoticed. The focus has now shifted to electric vehicles and the zero-emission goal.Various studies have forecast a massive boom for the EV industry in India, pointing to a 30–80% rise in the sector’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by 2027. This is being linked to the increasing awareness about EV benefits raised by the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan and Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles, the second phase of the latter attracting a budget outlay of Rs 111.36 crore for 2022–23.
The healthy forecasts for the EV industry in India are based on observed trends in the growth rate in demand for EVs. But the on-ground problems the EV industry faces are yet to be addressed—mainly, high vehicle costs and accessibility to EV battery charging stations. Through the Ministry of Power, the Union government has recognised the Bureau of Energy Efficiency as the chief nodal agency to implement the EV battery charging infrastructure. It needs a single regulatory authority exclusively dealing with the gamut of EV operations, from battery charging infrastructure to ushering in competitive pricing of vehicles and aggressively spreading awareness about the benefits. This would help reach the zero-emission goals faster.